The South Bay LGBT Center in Torrance doesn't look like much, but boy does it pack a punch! They've got a great area in the back of this railroad car space that seats about 20 and has a stage and a mic/mic stand w a Karaoke machine for an amp. The first Friday night of the month is their Performance Night, so they were super excited to feature my show HOMO!sapienism - and opener Jaumonta Roberts.
For the first time in I dunno how many shows, we started on time! There was a crowd and Monta was there so we began. Monta was so great. He had his book of poetry and they were numbered 1 through 50 and he read #1 and then left it up to the audience to call out numbers to let him know which next poem to read. The audience was so tickled with this. They gleefully called out numbers and listened as Monta poured out his soul about his growth journey. He was so raw and honest and naked. It's been a long time since I've seen a spoken word artist that vulnerable. He did great. Though he did keep apologizing to the audience. I wanted to say, "You don't have to apologize." I'll probably send him that message some time
Oh! And ANOTHER thing South Bay did right: mayonnaise and mustard! In my rider, I stipulate that I need to be fed before the show -- and there's a choice of types of meals. For a while, the rider just had turkey sandwich/veggie sandwich on it, until Kristen and I realized how sick of sandwiches we were getting, so we switched it up. But a lot of places choose to give us sandwiches and mine clearly says mayo and mustard. But most places do the mayo packets and it's just not the same. But LAST NIGHT Dottie at South Bay got me a turkey sub with mayo and mustard and let me tell you -- it IS the little things that means so much!
So, it was time for me to get up and perform and Dottie, the president of the Center, gave me a wonderful introduction. And I launched into Pick - the piece about how I pick at my life like I pick my nose" One man in
the back had his hands over his ears (I thought. Lol. Then I found out he was cupping his ears so he could hear better.) And they loved Pick and Off the the Races we went! It turned out to be a really fun, thrilling, warm, hilarious evening with these wonderful people. (With whom I did not get a photo! Whaaaaa?) At the end there were lots of compliments and love and the man who was cupping his ears, came up to me and put a bill in my bra strap and said, "I wish this was a g-string." Ha! It was a $100 bill. Wow. Amazing.
After the show was more emotional for me than the show because my Uncle and my first cousins and one of my oldest friends (from college) were all there. So, I was flitting from one to the other and they were talking to me about my work- they're all in the business- and it was so amazing to talk to people who understand the craft, the art of performance and writing.
There was one person there who was four days out of the mental hospital for attempting suicide about 2 weeks ago. They wanted to know how I keep my balance while being on tour. I said that I try to keep the basics in place: sleep, eat, exercise (when I can), stay in touch with people who are supportive and loving. Oh and keep taking my meds and talk to my kid regularly (like daily).
I went out afterwards with my life-long friend Brian. We found a Mexican place that was open at 10:23pm on a Saturday - yes, really, it was hard to find places - and we just picked up where we left off how many ever years ago it was I last saw him. It was sooooo great to see a friend. It's been a while. Fortunately, I have friends in Santa Cruz and in San Francisco and in Seattle. More friends to come.
That's it for now. Off to hang out with the family. The actual blood related family.
Thank you, South Bay!